How to (Really) be Wise

Wisdom is a good thing to have.

If there’s anything that any two people can agree on, it would have to be on that.

Yet it appears that anywhere you look, everyone has their own opinion of what it means to be wise.

From scholars publishing academic journals in prestigious universities to average joes posting pictures of quotes they googled two minutes ago on facebook, there’s never a shortage in the variety of ‘wise’ lessons to we naturally encounter in our day to lives.

But I’m a Christian, so that means that there’s only one real type of wisdom that matters to me and that’s the wisdom of scripture.

Yet before anyone can begin to approach the scripture of God word, it is important he takes the crucial step of recognizing his own foolishness.

Before a person can listen, he must master the art of being silent.

If you need to know more, here’s a post on the subject.

 

With that being said, the means of becoming a wise person genuinely isn’t difficult.

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Proverbs 19:20

As this verse states, being wise is simply a matter of being willing to handle criticism and correction in a positive and constructive way and, since we already know how to question ourselves in meaningful ways, this shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do at all.

We can actually use this method of thinking to become wise any form or subject matter we wish such as for the sake improving ourselves as employees at our jobs or careers, for the sake of good management of our families and social ties, or for the sake of better enjoying our hobbies and past-times.

Simply being able to look at criticism as an opportunity to gain wisdom can do wonders for every aspect of our lives by allowing us to not only improve at doing the things we love to do but also to improve at simply being ourselves.

However, just as there is criticism and bad criticism, there is wisdom that can improve our lives and wisdom that can do the opposite.

Take for example the wisdom that getting angry and confrontational with people who offend or insult you is a just thing to do for the reason that people will be less likely to bother you if they know you are willing to fight back.

That advice is obviously quite foolish as, if it were to be taken seriously, would serve to escalate relatively stable confrontations rather quickly rather than attempt to resolve the issue in any way.

Many of us roughly know the difference between wisdom and foolishness when we hear it or see it yet it is absolutely vital for anyone who truly wants to be wise to know what wisdom actually is specifically lest they end up adhering to foolishness by mistake.

Fortunately for us, the Bible gives us a clear set of characteristics that true wisdom will always adhere to in James 3:17.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

This verse gives us decisive characteristics of what real wisdom actually looks like.

True wisdom compels us to strive for Christ-like purity in thought, speech, and in action and would never encourage us to be content with our immoral nature.

True wisdom compels us to center the pursuit of peace to be the sole objective of debate and action and would never persuade us to love conflict and the destruction that come with it.

True wisdom compels us to be considerate of the rights and feeling of the people around us and would never justify the use of hatred, fear, and self-righteousness to condemn the people we ignorantly and feel morally superior to.

True wisdom compels us to submit to the will of God in mind, body, soul, and in our every worldly possession as true wisdom both drags us before the mortality and imperfection of human flesh as well as prostrates us before the divinity and immortality that is God alone.

True wisdom compels us to show mercy and forgiveness to those who have sinned against just as God has shown his mercy and forgiveness to us in the sacrifice of his only son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sin.

True wisdom compels us to demonstrate the fruits of the spirit in our everyday lives and, in turn, be fruitful and prosperous in the name of the Lord.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

True wisdom compels us to be impartial when tasked with making a judgment and to lay down our personal interpretations of what we may think is true in favor of discovering and making known to all what is actually true.

True wisdom compels us to be sincere and upright members of our community rather than deceitful and devious mischief-makers.

If all of this seems like too much to remember just remember one thing.

True wisdom makes us less like ourselves and more like the imitation of Christ.

If all else fails just pray and receive.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5

 

This is 30 Days of Growth: Day 4

Thanks for Reading!

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